Lawn care tips for the entire year!
Brought to you by Landscaping By Allen, in Billings, MT
Everybody loves a freshly mown lawn which is why proper lawn care is so important!
The smell of fresh cut grass in the air is a reminder that summer is here.
What could be better feeling than walking through a nice, lush green lawn without your shoes on?
However, in order to have that nice, beautiful lawn, you have got to be prepared to take care of it year round. It is not as simple as just turning on the sprinklers once spring-time hits.
Having a beautiful, manicured lawn takes year round care and here are some of the things that you will need to make sure you have done everything to maintain the health of your yard.
Early spring is your chance to get a head start on bringing back your lawn after winter damage.
As is the case with most maintenance jobs, everything goes more smoothly if you are prepared. This time of year is when you should be getting ready for the lawn growing and mowing season.
- Sharpen your lawn mower blade. A dull blade will tear through the grass instead of making a clean cut. This in turn will leave jagged edges to the grass that will discolor and also invites pathogens. It’s a good idea to sharpen your blade once a month during the season and its never a bad idea to have an extra blade on hand as well.
- Give your mower a tune up. A new spark plug and a new air filter is always helpful to your mower. It probably doesn’t need a new spark plug every season, but they are relatively cheap and easy to change, so there is no reason not to keep your mower running in top notch condition.
- Get some fresh gas. Most people use gas that has been sitting around all winter and this stuff will have accumulated moisture that is harmful to small engines. If you need to dump your old gas, contact your city or country for local disposal sites.
Once spring is here, you are now prepared for it.
Depending upon your climate, your grass is going to really start growing at this point. It is also probably going to frequently be wet, so remember not to mow your grass when it is wet.
Wet grass clippings will not only clog up your lawnmower, but they will spread diseases as well.
Spring and fall are times for fertilizing so you will want to make sure your lawn gets fertilized this time of year. Home Depot stocks many different types of lawn fertilizers. Check with them to find what works best in your specific zone.
You will want to apply the fertilizer right at the time your grass really starts growing actively, and you can plan on spending about $50-$75 per application for an average sized lot.
Follow the directions, as you don’t want to dump too much fertilizer in one part of your lawn and short another part. You will have a funny looking lawn all year long if you do!
Spring-time lawn care means it is also the time to look at aerating your lawn if you are so inclined.
Aeration is the process of punching small holes into your lawn so that oxygen, water, and even the fertilizer can reach the roots rather than pooling at the top of the grass.
You will want to pick a day where the soil is moist but not soaked, to allow the aeration machine to work properly.
Herbicides are another thing you may want to look at applying in spring. This will take care of issues such as crabgrass and other weeds. It’s not a bad idea to pick up a soil thermometer for this as 58 degrees is about the temperature that crabgrass starts to germinate, so that is the time to apply the herbicide.
Early summer brings worm time to your lawn!
All kinds of worms and beetles will start feeding on your lawn’s roots at this time of year. You can pull back a piece of sod to check on this, and if you see a large number of grubs, its time to treat your lawn care with some sort of chemical pesticide.
Milky spore is an environmentally friendly way to do this and if you use chemical insecticides, water the product into the soil right away.
The grass is going to start growing faster in the summer, so be prepared to mow your lawn more often.
You will also want to find the more hearty weeds that escaped the herbicide, so keep a garden fork of some sort handy to remove them by hand. You can use post-emergent herbicide at this point if you think the weed situation is really getting out of control.
Summer is also obviously watering time for your lawn. Many people don’t realize that less frequent, but longer, deep watering is much more beneficial for your lawn than is watering all the time but for short periods of time.
You should also be cleaning up your mower at least once a month during the summer, as the grass that sticks to the bottom of it can spread lawn disease.
The same goes for removing large clumps of mown grass from your lawn. Leaving a few clippings can nourish the lawn, but large clumps will do nothing but promote lawn disease growth.
Early fall and fall time is time to start preparing for winter. There are some little things you can do to prepare and save time once the weather really starts to turn.
- Remove any dead grass.
- For bare spots, break up soil with a garden tool
- Add some compost to the bare spots and work it into the soil.
- Add grass seed to the bare spots.
- Rake it into the soil and then water the area thoroughly until the seeds start to show growth.
Your main job during the fall is to clean up leaves and other debris from your lawn. A mulching mower is ok to use for this type of job, but be sure to break up any lumps that are left on your lawn so they don’t kill the grass.
If you live in the northern part of the country, this is also the time to apply fertilizer to your lawn again.
This allows the grass to store the nutrients over the course of the winter and gives you a jump start for spring of the coming year.